Last week, I was lucky enough to witness the Day of the Dead parade in Milwaukee. The parade ended and then began again at the art gallery I shared in a previous blog post. A giant skeleton was hanging in front of the gallery. This is the window you guys saw the Marilyn Monroe skeleton in before.
The parade was not heavily advertised. The only way I knew about it was from searching online for Day of the Dead events in Milwaukee. This was a very intimate community gathering. For the most part, it appeared that only the friends and family of those in the parade were watching. The parade participants did not seem to mind an audience. A few smiled for my camera.
Many of the people in the parade had painted their faces like sugar skulls. Some carried photos of their lost loved ones, and others carried giant skull signs and masks.
A few people pushed shopping carts full of skulls and flowers.
Children from local dance groups joined in.
These are Aztec warrior skeletons. At least, I'm pretty sure that's what they are. According to Wikipedia:
Scholars trace the origins of the modern Mexican holiday to indigenous observances dating back hundreds of years and to an Aztec festival dedicated to a goddess called Mictecacihuatl.
I would love to hear someone correctly pronounce the name of that goddess!
I love the added touch of the cigarette to this skull.
A skeletal band marched through the parade. They were very dramatic!
I thought this bearded man was the most unnerving member of the band!
Each skeleton woman's torso is carried by a person wearing stilts.
Isn't her hair great? I love that red, braided fabric around her bun.
A cat skull
Notice the guy carrying a cactus at the end of the parade. I'm not sure why he brought the cactus along, but he kept holding it up in the air as if he were making a toast!
This last photo is possibly my favorite. I love how everything surrounding the man is a blur.
I checked Youtube to see if there were any videos of the parade I attended, and was surprised to actually find a few! What's funny is that I remember seeing the man who was taping this first one. I recognize the view of the street he had from standing on his car. If you watch this, you will recognize some of the people from my photos.
I was only around for the afternoon events, but it appears that more went on at night. Next year, I'll stick around a while longer!
I hope you enjoyed this parade! If you watched the first video, it's almost like you were there. Witnessing this was such a unique experience. It was so cool of this community to share their culture and holiday with anyone who wanted to show up. I suggest that next year you guys search for Day of the Dead events in your area. You never know what you might find!